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One of the first things I heard when I was beginning to wake up to what was happening was about Michfest.About how women had to give up the festival on The Land, which sounded like a place of healing, and almost mythical, loveliness because of ongoing accusations of “transphobia”
Realising we couldn’t have such a place to go to find freedom from Male violence&the various traumas inflicted on us by men,&a patriarchal society, without a specific group of male people still insisting we prioritise them, too, was sobering.
The sense of entitlement to getting constant access to us was abundantly clear.
Among many realisations,it led me to the one we all have;that despite claims of being women,many TW are still recognisably behaving like other men&are mistreating us as those men have mistreated women over&over. We recognise those behaviours&are being asked to pretend we don’t
The really crystallising thought for me was that even if they genuinely believe TWAW,the demand for constant access doesn’t make sense.They clearly recognise us as different to them when they decide to call us “cis”. It’s true we are made into a subset of women with that word…
It’s true that it is a lie to pretend we are a subset of women, but if they really believe that lie then they still haven't answered why it is only that subset- the female subset- who don’t have the right to organise and meet and gather together by ourselves?
Transwomen are allowed to have their own spaces. In fact, they’re now actually the only group amongst the people we are expected to consider women who are allowed to have exclusive resources.
Any meeting of black/lesbian/disabled/bisexual women.
Any meeting of academic/artistic/married/divorced/alcoholic/young women.
Any meeting of any women at all, might be allowed to set a specific demographic of women to attend, but it can’t specify members must be female.
So, increasingly, while we may be able to meet for all manner of reasons&to deal with all manner of other issues, women, as females, cannot officially meet together alone, at all.

Not without threats, accusations, the targeting of named women, and attempts to stop or punish us
As women this is terrifying, as we know. As feminists, it’s a threat to our wider movement. A class of people who are oppressed have every right& need to be able to organise without constant reference to the class of people who oppress them. Without their constant presence too.
It seems like a fairly basic wish to have space, as well, for at least long enough to take a few deep breaths&repair some damage.
But we are not allowed that space because women are still oppressed on the basis of their sex, and that oppression is so insidious that, of course, our needs or wishes as a sex are not given consideration. We are perceived as vindictive for even considering that they might be
The deep entitlement that forms at least one solid pillar in the church of patriarchy&demands endless unseen labour from women,of both practical&emotional kinds, remains in evidence. It is being imposed on us again, but again is the wrong word b/c it never stopped being imposed.
It is being imposed by members of the same class of people as it always was, because the dynamics between males and females are not sufficiently altered by the claim of identifying as us. If anything those dynamics are only compounded by the obscuring of their existence.
Of all the things we’re doing to address this,one of the most crucial is that we must keep making our own spaces.We must remake The Land wherever we can find a bit of earth,or virtual nook to call our own.All the time we do that,we take up the room we are not allowed&dearly need
Being together without male influence is precisely so dangerous to the status quo b/c it is where, &how, we collect group knowledge and group skill. We learn to recognise ways we are being harmed,collectively instead of individually,&what our capacity is to do something about it.
Perhaps the luckiest skill women have, as a people, is a more natural inclination to form social communities,&as we are the women who recognise that Male people are not female&that this is a current issue to be wrestled with,we are the women the task of remaking The Land falls to
That we have already begun is wonderful.

When things feel overwhelming, as they do, and the individual toll stacks up, I hope we all remember that we are not stuck back at the first step of fixing this any more.
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